Saturday 12 October 2019

Eternal life - what does it entail? (considering that Beings are eternal, anyway)

Just below the surface; it is a puzzle that Jesus promises eternal life; when life is, apparently, already eternal. Souls do not die, and both Jews and pagans of Jesus's time (or leading up to that era) assumed that souls continued in a kind of underworld. What, then was so special about everlasting life?

What is being offered by Jesus is that we our-selves will live eternally - and that this includes resurrection, a permanent restoration of the body. Because - for both Jews and pagans - what of us that persisted in the underworld after we have died was no longer our-self.

The implication is that for we our-selves to live forever requires that bodies (our bodies) must also live forever.

This can't happen with our mortal bodies; they never were suitable for eternal use - from conception and birth there are problems, and through life these accumulate, and we die. So a permanent body must be another one that is (in some sense) the same as the mortal one, but not the same one.

This isn't really any mystery or paradox - because each person's identity (our identity) is based upon the linear continuity of our-selves through time. So resurrection is understandable as the continuity of our selves, souls, from eternity - going through a phase of mortal incarnation which is (for some reason that we don't understand) developmentally-necessary for the development of a resurrected body.

So, these are the necessary developmental stages of a Man. We must go-through these phases - spirit, mortal body, immortal body - if we want to become eternal selves...

But the essence of the necessity of Jesus's life (i.e. why Jesus was needed) is that the 'final' stage - of transition from mortal to immortal body - is one that requires our conscious assent; unlike earleir stages, resurrection does not 'just happen'.

We must want it, and we must want it in a particular way that includes wanting the consequences of it; which means that resurrected life eternal is not just about our-personal-selves living forever; but about the fact that to have this is to become gods - and participating in the 'ongoing work of creation'.

The two go together - resurrection and participation in creation; which is a clue to the fact that resurrection is itself an aspect of ongoing creation.

1 comment:

Lucinda said...

By “conscious assent” you are including “wanting it in a way that includes wanting the consequences of it”? The pre-mortal choice assenting to mortal, incarnated life was a choice, but not fully conscious because unaware of what consequences felt like in a mortal body? Like not being allowed to accept a car, as a gift, without a very thorough test drive?

I do think there was some kind of assent all along, but it was mostly naive. Like getting married. Mortal marriage seems to be an important aspect of life’s lessons, to be honored, even when spouses seem to be completely spiritually incompatible (in the limited vision of mortality.) Limitation of divorce is necessary, even though eternal voluntary marriage is the goal. My understanding is that we cannot experience the lessons of marriage correctly, without being stablized by it through relatively minor irritations. Like a child being kept away from the cliff: they cannot understand, and don’t have the physical control to not accidentally kill themselves.

I see you have a post going further on this topic. I think I will continue my comments there.